City Desk

Riding Your Bike on an Empty Rock Creek Parkway: Awesome

Riding my bike from Alexandria this morning, I furrowed my brow when I saw soldiers and National Park Service rangers blocking off the Memorial Bridge. "No way," I thought. "No effing way." (I'm one of those nondrivers who didn't pay attention to the road-closure announcements last week.) But I asked a cheery guy in a truck—I think he was Park Service, but I didn't make a note of it—how to get downtown, and he helpfully redirected me around the circle to the bridge's westbound lane. I fell in line with a small group of pedestrians and other cyclists, and for a blissful couple of minutes, rode my bike on the Memorial Bridge—against traffic—without a single vehicle in sight.

When I crossed the bridge, I actually yelped with glee when I saw that a stretch of the Rock Creek Parkway was traffic-free, too. For the first time in five years of bicycle commuting, I rode solo on a car-free parkway all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to the most expensive gas station in D.C. It ruled.

Photo by Ally Schweitzer

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  • Payton

    Gah! I had wondered whether I might be able to bike unmolested on RCP, but I actually did pay attention to the road closure list and RCP was listed as "open." (Said list was also incorrect about when they'd start closures, which led to me being stuck on a bus for a while on Sunday.)